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Thread: So you want to be a pagan!

  1. #71
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    I stumbled upon Paganism by picking up a book in the library, and I was drawn in immediately! It was Deborah Lipp's The Way of Four Spellbook. I have always thought I was something of a religious misfit - I tried out different churches and read up on a few belief systems, but nothing resonated. I didn't feel anything, no sense of connection. I would see all these joyous faces in church and wish that I could feel the bliss they were feeling. I had many questions about the Christian faith, and quite a lot of it didn't sit right with me. I'd always been at home in nature, since I was a little girl. The only places I felt truly happy were the natural places... meadows, forests, lakes, and oceans. I live in the bible belt, where people ask you "What church do you go to?" upon meeting you, because it's assumed that you do. My response has always been, "My church is the outdoors." I'd explain to people that my spiritual development was just between God and me. Of course, I couldn't quite define for myself who or what that God was.

    So when I learned that there was a spiritual path I could take - any one of many possible paths, actually - that were centered around nature, I was in awe. Nature-based religion! I hadn't realized it existed before, and it resonated with me completely. And, here was the acceptance and tolerance for all religions that was absent in the other religions I'd tried on for size. Here was encouragement to think for myself, to study and learn, to select what worked for me, to continue to learn and grow.

    When I discovered Paganism, it was the first time in my life that I felt that bliss - that excitement, that passion, for developing the spiritual side of myself. It was a very emotional week for me, full of happy tears and joy at finally finding my path. I've only just begun, my feet have been placed on the beginning of the trail, but I am relishing the journey. I have truly come home.
    I am a part of all that I have read.
    ~John Kieran

    This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
    ~The Dalai Lama

    If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
    ~Mother Teresa

    You don't have a soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body.
    ~C.S. Lewis

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by swirlingcloud View Post
    I'm a new Pagan and the part about worshipping nature is what attracted me. Even when I was part of Christianity, I only felt connected to my spirituality when I was outside, with the wind on my face or the sound of the ocean.
    My story is similar. I served in Christianity for years but always had questions. I felt more connected with nature and forest settings than I did with jesus. I grew tired of all the church mumbo jumbo and left Christianity about 10yrs ago. Since then I've studied other religions, other paths trying to see what felt right...so here I am

  3. #73
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    I've always been drawn to nature and was very much an outdoor child. My first real exposure to religion was an outside christian style service at a Lake that I vacationed at frequently with family. I eventually delved into christianity in highschool but broke away after a few years because it just didn't feel right. I think afterthat I didn't know what I believed beyond knowing in my heart that all gods were one and that I did believe in a higher power. It wasn't until reading Mists of Avalon (yea, I know sounds cliche) that I realized that there was something out there. For years I was content to just live with my personal knowledge of what I felt was right.
    It wasn't until researching a "witch" character for an RPG game that I realized that I might actually be able to live my beliefs. I had always avoided Wicca because it had the association of "witchcraft" to me and while I'm more open to the idea now I'm not sure it's for me. I'm stilling discovering myself and what I know for sure is that I believe in the God & Goddes, the triple goddess, and that all gods/goddesses are truly one but that my mortal mind needs these seperations. I do tend to lean toward the celtic nature, crystal healing and I want to learn more herb lore

  4. #74
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    lol you sound just like me I started in christianity too and it just never felt quite right. Too many rules :/

    That being said, this is a GREAT community with lots of "elders" to guide you. Read all you can is my best advice. Knowledge is power! Thanks GI Joe!

  5. #75
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by cheddarsox View Post
    How did you learn about it? What made you think "THAT is for me!"
    I didn't even know what Paganism was until the internet came to my house.

    I grew up in an agnostic non-practicing Catholic-Jewish house, but nothing was ever forced onto me. We had a tree and a minorah, but nothing was lectured or forced or even hinted.

    My father considers himself now a "secular humanist". My mother is just agnostic theist, as far as I can tell.

    In 6th grade my class studied Greek Mythology and I became an independent researcher after that. Something about that just FELT right. From then on, without knowing what paganism was, I knew that I was dedicated to the Old Ways. My introduction to those old ways was based on the simple belief that there were many gods, and that Zeus and 'God' had many similarities -- even then I knew they were linked due to their Indo-European origins.

    Then came the internet, and Yahoo Groups. I discovered that there was a whole WORLD of people that felt the way I did, believed what I did, and even PRACTICED it!! It was a revelation.

    I don't follow a Hellenic tradition in any way, it just felt right to channel my energy to specific sentient entities.

    It definitely feels right to be able to pray in my own way, without being forced to do things the 'organised' way.


  6. #76
    Umbress's Avatar
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    I was reared atheist. For a time I tried to be a christian, I read their holy book, used concordances and all but I was just to damn pagan it fit in - really

    I was always getting into debates. Sunday school teachers hated me as an adult because when I read their book I came to very different conclusions - I found I read the old testament of the bible like some of the orthodox Jews did. The more educated the teacher or preacher the more I was hated some time being attacked from the pulpit.

    After my children grew up I began having time to get into debates and over time befriended people of different religions - . One lady I got to know referred to herself as a witch so I began asking her questions about her path Then I shared my dilemma regarding my inability to fit into organized religions - Her advice was to seek out my own beliefs - she assured me I had always been on my spiritual path but it was up to me to walk my own journey -

    After several years of studying I learned why I did not fit into churches. Christian churches by and large cater to the more legalistic orthodox aspect of Christians which I was never designed to be -

    There are other types of Christians out there but they have been ridiculed and orphaned by what became main stream Christianity because their way did not serve the political powers that be - in Roman. Terms applied to them who chose to maintain their identity as christian are gnostic or mystic Christians

    Once I learned of gnostic Christianity I wandered that path but decided to drop the Christ aspect in favor of the "ALL" as referred to in Hermetics because that was a more in line with my idea of a deity.

    I went from gnostic christian into Hermetic now I am studying the Kabbalah - which explains a lot.

    I adopted the label pagan as a means to categorize my spiritual journey because I have more in common with others who have applied the same category to their spiritual path. It really is that simple

    My spiritual path has not really changed which is why I walked into paganism already knowing a lot about it - I have always been pagan it just took me over 45 years to figure it out.:goodgrief

  7. #77
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    I've been in and out of paganism and Catholicism a lot so I consider myself "new" all the time. Christianity was fun and home when it wasn't so legalistic--my parents used to tell me that thunder was the angels in heaven bowling and getting a strike, which may be why I love watching thunderstorms as an adult. Or I would watch the trees in the yard, marking the seasons with their colors and the length of their shadows.

    Oddly, I think I was trying to paganize my Catholicism as I grew up. I brought pine cones to the statue of Mary in my home, since my mother always has flowers in front of it. And I felt such unexpected JOY--like the Mother was pleased to get something from me. Later on, I went through Confirmation classes with the rest of my classmates. Our instructor asked us to meditate on the saints and decide upon a patron saint, and possibly a Confirmation Name for ourselves. I really wanted to dedicate myself to Mary at that time, but so many classmates were treating it like just another assignment that I felt kinda stupid for taking it too "seriously". Unfortunately, I chose a different saint, and felt more dumb when others did in fact ask for Mary's patronage.

    Books that I bought from Barnes and Noble (I'll cop to it, I bought Angels, Companions in Magick by Silver Ravenwolf, lol), then books by Scott Cunningham and Ellen Cannon Read really taught me to think seriously about paganism, and to get over the teen rebellion thing and make it REAL OR GO HOME. Since then, I've continued on my pagan Catholic, eclectic way.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheddarsox View Post
    Ok, my turn.

    I became pagan "pre-Buffy" and pre "Charmed"...or maybe more correctly, I was born pagan and it just took me a long time to realize that.

    I was raised Catholic, and really tried to make Chrisitanity work, while I respect the teachings and ethics, I couldn't make it work as a belief system. It simply was contrary to my experience of life and the Universe. I kept thinking...wouldn't it be cool if there was a religion that addressed what I believe and feel inside.

    While attending a liberal Christian church, I was introduced to some basic pagan spirituality...yes, at the Church,by the ministers, who were discussion ancient spiritualities. I was like "YES!", but didn't know there were real live people still practicing those things, outside of the liberal Christians who thought they were cool.

    But about that same time some health and personal crises caused me to say "enough" to Christianity and start practicing my authentic faith, what I knew and believed deep down inside.

    A few years later I discovered that there are lots of people who follow this path and practice these beliefs and I was thrilled.

    To me, paganism is practicing from the inside out, rather than from the outside in.

    It is my authentic response to what I know and believe, not what is enforced from an outside authority.

    I didn't have to plan an altar, when I heard about them, I realized I've always had a few around the house. I didn't have to learn how to do ritual, I realized I've been doing them all along.

    So, it was like I started living as a pagan, because it was inside me, and then later happily found community.

    What attracted me to paganism was it's authenticity.
    This is how I feel. I tried so hard to be a good spirit filled Christian and it never fit. It didn't fit the beliefs that burned inside of me. It wasn't logical in any way. I knew there were things I had been told didn't exist. I knew because I felt them and saw them. Sometimes experimenting nad researching but never letting go of y fear.
    Finally a few years ago there was a massive shift in my life...like platonic shifting massive...and I dropped all pretenses. No more faking it for the world or me and guess what was below all of that fear and front?
    It was not a woman on her knees begging "god" to help, it was a woman in her bare feet in the middle of a forest inviting the goddess to teach me the truth.
    IT is amazing how true the statement is that the truth will set you free. People don't really understand that statement until they experience the freedom of letting go of pretense and expectation.
    “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure” ~ Peter Marshall
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #79
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    i've pretty much always known i didnt belong in a standard church/organized religion, i didnt really believe in the judeo/chrisitan god, was pretty sure i wasnt a monthiest in general.
    for a while i was content with being agnostic, no need really for a religion or whatever however i've alway sort of been intrested in polythiesm, buddhism, new agey stuff... and eventually i felt like something was missing so i did a bit more research. was at first really drawn to druidry - the sound of the name, the celtic origins (i'm part scottish), which - i love the celtic culture in general... but recently - i read alot and its a little too strict/demanding...so no i'm more or less exploring wicca/witchcrafy, very limitedly as i'm home for the summer and will be living in a dorm come the end of august....

    but in general - i love the flexibility, the nature base (goddes how i love plants and animals) and the other little things like - herbology, tarot, crystals and gems...healing, chakras... so yeah - for now i'm a nonthiest/animist nature loving witch (i think) :P

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arinya View Post
    I also got introduced to the idea of witchcraft through a movie...The Craft! Haha...oh my. But hey, I was only 11 and it got me to pick up a book on the topic. I had another friend do the same...and there we were 10years later and she made fun of me for still being "into" witchcraft. I guess that's where the difference lies...I found something that sparked with me. The elements, the idea of energy in everything, my undying love for stones, my interest in divination, it all kind of came to a pinnancle and even though it was a movie that told me hey, look into this, and even though it was a bad movie at that, I still found something that just struck me hard. Struck me down, even and never let go.

    The real hook for me...was that it just made sense. I never feel like something I'm trying to do is a real stretch, it just...it just is. I suppose then...I had a natural draw and I followed it.


    heheh - i remeber being into the whole witch thing and expecting it to be like the movies with glowing pentagrams on the floor... i was younger then - and my dad kind of, discouraged it.... but i'm definitly pagan now with more realistic expectations but...
    main reason for quoting you- I loooove the doctor, specially that one :D

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